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Michael Bialas
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After spending more than 25 years in the newspaper business (most recently at the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News in Denver), Michael Bialas is currently taking an online approach to his work. A writer, editor, amateur photographer and former college football player, he primarily has covered sports throughout his career. Among the games he enjoys playing now, though, are reviewing and writing about music, movies, TV and other activities that sometimes don't require a ball.

Entries by Michael Bialas

Cream of the Dream Crop: One Last Chance to See Jack Bruce

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 2:11 PM

Baby boomers are seeing way too many of their musical heroes listed in the obituaries these days, the most recent Joe Cocker on December 22.

The one this year that hit me the hardest, though, was the death of Jack Bruce, the incomparable bass player of 1960s British...

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On With the Show Tunes: A Refueled Fleetwood Mac Truck Delivers Again

(8) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 12:07 AM

Putting on a show to match the grandeur and longevity of Fleetwood Mac is a massive undertaking, but Stevie Nicks needed just a minute to personalize it for the crowd of mostly Coloradans in the sold-out Pepsi Center on Dec. 12, 2014.

"I have like a whole...

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Olivia Jean Flies Solo: Slay Belle Rings, Are You Listening?

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 1:56 PM

One of rock's freshest faces put an eerie title on her solo debut album that was released two weeks before Halloween. But after hearing her speak softly during a recent chat, Olivia Jean sounds nothing like the mistress of the macabre who's behind Bathtub Love Killings.

Maybe a...

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Misty Boyce Song Premiere: 'The Life' She's Chosen Is Worth Celebrating

(3) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:32 AM

If her upcoming album The Life was based on her life, Misty Boyce would have a box set's worth of true stories to share.

Even though it includes only 10 songs (all penned by Boyce), The Life, to be released in January, is an impressive body of work for...

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With the Power Pop of III, Jessica Campbell Can Count Her Blessings

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 2:54 PM

She's a sweet Carolina native with a voice as luscious and refreshing as a glass of iced tea on a sweltering summer day. But don't let that sunny disposition and alluring Southern accent fool you.

When Jessica Campbell gets down to music, she means business. And the rest...

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Leave It to Beaver Creek: Honeyhoney Likes the View From the Top

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 6:34 PM

If scrappy band mates Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe ever thought they took the wrong career path, a couple of little girls in pretty, colorful dresses likely set them straight on a fabulous fall evening in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Brought back with thunderous applause following a snappy 70-minute set,...

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Larkin Poe: How Megan and Rebecca Lovell Got Their Sister Act Together

(2) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 5:25 AM

Megan and Rebecca Lovell are all about family, so it was a stroke of genius (or marketing savvy) that led the stunning sisters to put the "kin" in Larkin Poe.

"We have an 11-year-old younger brother who is the package deal," Rebecca was saying during a joint phone call...

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Double-Daring Duo of Phantogram Likes to Play Rough

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 3:41 PM

After spending five glorious days at Nashville's AmericanaFest 2014 in September, the urge upon returning home was to expand some musical boundaries.

All it took was a Phantogram piggyback ride to cross the rhythm nation border.

For the first time since opening for the Antlers on April...

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Backstage Pass: Enjoy a Bit of Bradford Lee Folk Lore

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Bradford Lee Folk was on a quest to quench his thirst.

He needed a drink real bad, but it's not what one might think just another hard-working American musician not affiliated with Todd Snider's supergroup project would crave after a show.

"You don't have a glass of...

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Compassion Play: Lucinda Williams Is on the Double

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 3:51 PM

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the inspired daughter of a profound poet likes to write. Any time, anyplace. Words, thoughts, phrases will get scribbled down on notepads, Post-its or, if it's during a night out on the town, even cocktail napkins.

"We might be out at...

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Backstage Pass: With Lindi Ortega at AmericanaFest

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 5:27 PM

Onstage, this feisty cowpunk of Mexican-Irish descent talks tough, wears cowboys boots that match the color of her ruby-red lipstick (and her Gibson J-200) and prefers to sing Johnny Cash instead of Bob Dylan.

She honors her mixed heritage by partaking in "Guinness for dinner, tequila for dessert," and...

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Inside AmericanaFest: Allison Moorer and 5 First-Time Faves

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 5:28 PM

For a first-time attendee, AmericanaFest went by in a flash.

It's over? Already? There are so many more artists to see, music to experience, moments to remember, Nashville sights to check out.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Belle Meade Plantation, along with famous eateries like...

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Backstage at AmericanaFest: With Justin Wade Tam and Leslie Rodriguez of Humming House

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 6:15 PM

If you've ever wondered what goes on backstage with musicians before or after a show, this series of Q&As from showcases at AmericanaFest in Nashville this week will attempt to unlock that mystery.

First up is Humming House, a Nashville-based folk-rock-roots band fronted by Justin Wade Tam...

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Laura Cantrell Finds Her Way Back to Nashville, Naturally

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 5:25 PM

The way she waxes so poetically about her hometown, you'd never guess singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell left Nashville for good almost three decades ago.

"I'm sorry. I'm just prattling on," she quietly said over the phone earlier this month.

Her unnecessary apology came in the middle of a...

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Show and Tell It Like It Is: Elizabeth Cook Pulls Some Apron Strings in Nashville

(1) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 5:15 PM

Elizabeth Cook's guilty pleasure is Nashville. Better make that Nashville, the setting for an outrageous TV show with fictional country-western singers, songwriters and Music Row executives who play each other just as much as the music that made them famous.

Maybe some truth lies inside that friction, though.

There's...

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Presenting Parker Millsap: A Smoky Okie With Americana Hustle

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 3:43 PM

Parker Millsap has plans. Lots of them. Presently, though, his biggest concern is trying to keep one of his mixed-breed dogs from having a family cat for a snack.

That's as complicated as it gets at the moment for a spry 21-year-old Oklahoman with a wealth of talent in...

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Digging Deep on Swimmin' Time, Shovels & Rope Kick Some Grass

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 3:09 PM

For a married couple of countrified rock 'n' rollers who stick to the bare essentials while taking turns banging the beaten drums and trading off other instruments onstage that look like hand-me-downs, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent don't need a lot to keep them happy. 

Blessed with a sense...

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Brandi Carlile and Co. Raise Hell, Hail Lyons' 'Triumphant' Return

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 3:50 PM

The three-day Rocky Mountain Folks Festival came to a close under the stars Sunday night in Lyons, Colorado, with a very politically incorrect Randy Newman somehow keeping the crowd on his side ... and on the edge of their seats.

So what if he mangled "Short People," adding...

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Why These Folks Festival Musicians Should Be Honorary Citizens of Planet Bluegrass

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 2:16 PM

Among all the accomplished roots artists performing at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival that begins today (Aug. 15), Dan Rodriguez of Elephant Revival might have the best reason for being there.

To provide some heavy lifting to a town that needs it, he has the qualifications and...

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Folks Festival Flight of Fancy: The Stray Birds Reach for the Sky

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 4:58 PM

It's not their first trip to Lyons, Colorado, but Oliver Craven, Maya de Vitry and Charles Muench are preparing a feel-good story for first-class delivery to the three-day Rocky Mountain Folks Festival this week.

While camping together during the three-day event in 2012, they were there, like other...

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